tv Today in Washington CSPAN April 2, 2013 2:00am-6:00am EDT
[applause] >> thank you for your very kind introduction. it is a privilege for me to be here. analysts and a great admirer. the of many people here at heritage for very long time. i admire the way that heritage works across policy areas so that you really do here and integrated message. not least among which i think is the attention at the heritage foundation to the power of culture by which i mean people's beliefs, ideas, habits, expectations, and the way that these achieve some form of institutional expressions. and this issue of culture and how it relates to that economy
is at the heart of my book, becoming europe. it was -- on one level becoming europe's uncertain about what happened to europe and why it is now regarded as the sick man of the global economy. the book is also about how some of these cultural and economic trends, how will change particularly of the last five years. america is seemingly a drifting in this direction of economic your position because whether it's colossal levels of debt, the increasingly unaffordable welfare state, low economic growth, double, even triple recessions, except for comex the trip.
the present economic crisis reflects some deeper truths. and not primarily because of the external pressures, but rather because of some of the inherent contradictions in this functionality that is encouraged by what i call european economic culture over a long amount of time. now, all of that is saying that america's economic culture as i call it continues to drift in the same direction. i think we can assume safely that over time some trends that we see in europe will start to manifest themselves in the united states. that, i think, is what americans mean when they use phrases like european position or like we are becoming like europe. such today i want to do three things. the first one to do is explain what my book means by the phrase
"becoming europe." the second thing i want to do is sketch out where some similar trends are asserting themselves in the united states, and since i am with the heritage foundation in a spirit of optimism want to tell america you mobile to avoid going down the same path. now, a good place, i think, to start in explaining what i mean by european economic culture is david camerons recent speech about britain's future in the european union. no, this beach is about many things, but i think the speech also matters in as much as it represented yet another mist of virginity by major european politicians to address unequivocably a problem that is, perhaps, even more fundamentally dangerous for britain and much of the rest of the euro in terms of that e use superstate tendencies.
and this is a problem of values, attitudes, and how we forgive and institutional expression in the economy because as i illustrated in becoming europe, the prevailing conviction across most of europe is that the state is the primary way in which we address common problems and meet our responsibilities and obligations to our fellow citizens. such obligations might be realized outside the realm of politics does not apparently appear to large numbers of european political leaders, including, i have to say come a considerable number of center-right european politicians. so in this regard have often wondered what a concerned person would think if you read a particularly important part that was written 180 years ago by one of his compatriots because
although it is about the new world, democracy in america was not written for an american audience. i would like to talk to the end and then -- the intended audience was europe. i suspect he would be astonished to learn how the american observed dealt with problems that were beyond the individual's capacity to address but also or not resolvable by things like trade and commerce. americans address these types of problems through the habit of free association instead of simply expecting government officials to lead into the breach. and the contrast was simply astounding. he said this. whether at their head of some new undertaking you see the government in france and the united states, you will be sure
to find and free association. now, as no less, there are certain things that can only be done by government. the constant equivalent of the value of what many europeans call solidarity, the cost to the equivalent of solidarity with state initiatives, government programs and public sector agencies is surely one of europe's biggest long-term headaches, it on because sex -- such expectations justify the welfare state constant and even in list expansion to of the fight the untenable burden of which which should never be obvious to the most committed a brussels to resist -- to reserves. it's not just the political upper class is to think this
way. millions of ordinary europeans share to share this mind set. take for example, mr. cameron's on backyard. but thailand is currently dominated by two political parties who buy at being more socially democratic . the labor and the scottish nationalists don't control scottish politics simply because governments conservatives are in at. they are, after all, elected to parliament by people who apparently want social democratic policy regardless of the long-term economic and moral cost. five years ago of former white house chief of staff remind us, we never want a serious crisis to go to waste. but this is the uprise i think that europe's leaders have declined to take. very few of them seem interested
in using the country's severe economic challenges as a type of circuit breaker to articulate a grand vision of why the economy and society needs to be liberated from all the mighty governments. instead, what you find most european politicians presenting things like austerity measures, the junior -- generally present these changes as necessary evils embarked upon with considerable reluctance so that we can get back to the way things used to be. now, one reason for this, i think, is that many of europe's politicians know, they know that appeals to a greater economic. [indiscernible] and smaller government simply don't resonate with enough western europeans. and recent decades, nobel prize economists have illustrated the economics of the appointment
that while laws and policies matter they tend to reflect what the majority of people of value for better or worse. that like many other people looking through a long time ago that contemporary european economies are generally less productive than americans because of institutional factors, things like large welfare states, have the labor market regulation, large public-sector bureaucracies. but this cannot explain everything. european countries were not a bunch of banana republic's. they lagged behind the united states when it came to a classic predictors of growth such as resistance of rule of law. so the intuition was that the
differences had to come down to america's economy being influenced by culture which values things like freedom and risk-taking. they decided to drill down some of the data of that survey of american and european attitudes towards these things. and what they found was that when it came to things like change, competition, emotions of freedom more generally, they found that americans are much more favorably leaning toward these things than most europeans. the impression that differences across countries with respect to a certain growth spurring institutions were not as important as prevailing differences in economic culture. even speculated that economic cultures can become so entrenched that those people who are actually living within them don't know they become close to
any other type of possibility. the second part of my remarks, which is how european attitudes are starting to gain ground in america. study after study after study as a show in my book shows a marked shift among americans away from unfavorable views of free enterprise and markets toward what you might call more social democratic positions. in 2011 won international poll for one very respected firm released the results of surveys into different countries' attitudes towards democracy. so in response to a statement the free-market is the best economic system in the world only 19 percent of those in britain agreed with that. the numbers were higher in spain, 24%.
italy 21%. lower in france, which was 6%. although the european surveyed, germans expressed the highest percent approval. and of the real shock i think came in american reactions to the same statements. in 2002 and even percent of americans surveyed expressed a favorable view of free enterprise and free markets. 2002. eight years later it had fallen to 59%. among lower-income americans the trend was even worse. in 2000 to 79 percent of those surveyed expressed favorable views of business commerce and free-market. by 2010 that figure had fallen to 44%. and among young americans that trend is even more marked. now, there is no doubt i think that these apparent shifts in american and european opinion of
a great deal to the 2008 financial crisis, but as i remind readers of "becoming europe" there has always been since the progress of this era a strong strain of skepticism about free enterprise and markets and among america's political and intellectual elites, not to mention a considerable body of opinion among those that primarily associating concerning people with collecting state action. now, judging from the second inaugural address this mindset of perpetual security through the state seems to be shared by the white house's occupant, not to mention millions of the americans who voted for him in 2012. and this points to a deeper, maybe even existential problems that many western european nations have long failed to master which i think america
also seems to be struggling with. and the crisis flows from a buried -- very unhealthy nexus between democracy on the one hand and the fact that we now live in the culture in which many people simply assume as a matter of right that they are entitled to certain things from the government without too many questions being asked about how the pay for it. now, this combination to my think, is presently proving toxic for much of europe, but i think it increasingly constitutes a danger to america's economic future. no, obviously there is an economic dimension to this, of pure economic dimension. listed the issue of debt. the government's constant spend more when they raised through taxation, borrowing money is our governments have made up the difference. now in many european countries a
subsequent debt burden has now gone to the plan whereby it is affecting government's ability to meet their financial obligation. in spain, for example, things are so bad that many of the regional governments are actually trying to defer payments that they know for certain services to private businesses. but before americans ask part scoffing we should consider that as of the fourth of february in 2013 america's official public debt was an obscene 16 and a half trillion dollars. now, the real figure is probably much higher once we include things like unfunded future liabilities such as social security and the existing obligations of all that bankrupt states like california and illinois. but i think beyond the economic there are also more supple,
cultural, and political forces at work. here western europe's serves as exhibit day. i think many of us know that the contemporary modern welfare state origin goes back to 19th century germany. some of the biggest expansion of the welfare state in europe occurred after 1945. given your pete to cut europe's yearning for the economic security after to devastating world wars, not to mention the great depression, this yearning for security should not surprise us. but what i think was surprising, and that talk about this at length in the book, how quickly european politicians recognize that the state's ability to provide social programs and subsidies was a way to build reliable constituencies. governments have all said, not just the left but also the right and realized they could attract
support by making promises regarding things like pensions, retirement, subsidy, an employment benefits, regulations, a government jobs. sound familiar? this was paid for, of course, by as we know in europe, increased taxation, and when that did not cover the cost, debt became the means by mix the -- by which the shortfall was covered. now, one justification for our democracy is that it provides us with ways of holding government accountable when decisions don't accord with our wishes. but we have to ask ourselves, what happens when some citizens became viewing the means to use the state to provide the citizens with whatever they want, such as perpetual economic security. what happens when elected officials start to believe that it is their responsibility to provide that demanded security
court, more cynically, starred regarding welfare programs, for example, as a useful tool to create constituencies that can be relied upon to vote for them. now, the end result should not surprise us. it is a spiral of expanding debt , welfare car regulation, but the politicians kamal the expanding numbers of welfare beneficiaries had any real desire to stop until things got so bad that there is no alternative. but their is a political problem. because unfortunately in democracies in which many people see this state as the primary provider of economic security, meaningful restraint of government intervention and spending is very politically difficult. by? because anyone who promises to try and reduce the scope of intervention in real terms is in
many respects that a severe electoral disadvantage. at luxembourg to have as the luxembourg prime minister famously lamented in 2007, we all know what we have to do, but we don't know how to get reelected once we have done it. in other words, if enough people in my democracy what security through the state regardless of the cost than the capacity of politicians to oppose the desires of 51 percent of the population is very limited because to resist is to course electoral rejection or, as we have seen, riders running amok in the streets of athens. now, it is very tempting, i think, to see all this as a picture of the western european problem. this is after a continent in which many nominally
center-right government's have defiant economic positions and are essentially socially democrat and other words extension government intervention is essentially seen as normal across the political spectrum and most of western europe. but can anyone seriously deny that many american politicians, including conservatives also play this game? all the millions of americans have developed rather inflated expectations of what government owes them in economic terms. and and not just talking about those who apparently regard any streamlining of social security as an apparent human rights violation. i am also referring to those american businesses who pursue -- who prefer to pursue corporate welfare instead of competing in the marketplace. having thoroughly depressed you,
let me move on to the third and final part of my remarks. how can america break to this nexus? clearly it is essential to have and make long overdue politically difficult decisions about the government's that america's fiscal non partners recently once again managed to avoid making. but at a more elemental level, what we need is significant attitudinal change, somehow governments and legislatures, for example, have to stop viewing public finances as a vote-attracting tool. my suspicion is they are not going to do that unless they cents to things. the first is that the american people do not want to head down the path of economic european is asian in general. secondly, enough americans are
willing to embrace what that actually moves at the level of specifics. many self-described limited government americans the when it comes to reducing subsidies and regulations and that specifically benefit their town of their state. in that sense the be a challenge was press ordinary americans. to put it bluntly we need to accept our participation of democracy cannot degenerate into voting for the ever promises to give us the most stuff. in short, if we are unwilling to use our democratic freedoms responsibly, america seriously risks becoming what one german academic described in 2009 as the situation prevailing
throughout much of western europe. he called it fiscal kleptocracy. what he meant by that is that citizens vote for those politicians to use state power to give there supporters would they want at other people's expense. fiscally that translates into tax increases, more substantial spending cuts to a growing welfare states, blows of corporate welfare, and a colossal debt burden for our children. welcome to greece. but, also, welcome to the state of california and the state of illinois. what is interesting, i think, in the long term if you look at history is that america's founders understood these challenges went beyond the pure economics. thomas jefferson, for example, was, let's say, no model of personal financial rectitude. he just wasn't.
in the president, i am afraid, i think the jury seems to be out on that one. so here i would like to conclude how does america avoid going down this path any further? well, on one level, it is surely a question of decisions. i am not a philosophical materialist. i do believe that there is such a thing as free well. but it is also true that incentives are aligned in a particular direction, it is harder to persuade people not to follow. the more that we move in a covertly's social democratic convention, the harder it's going to be to persuade americans that this is not economically curable. that points to the importance of enacting policies that embody economic incentives for people to be creative. to be competitive and to not
demand subsidies because such things are no longer be available. with that being said, policy is very important. but it is not enough. those who want america to become more like what is in europe, are in my view much better. those who want those are much better, i think at doing what some people call a vision thing. they are better at inspiring people to opt for certain policies. i think many conservatives in the free market are very good at policy. some of us find it very difficult to move beyond efficiency arguments and
articulate a vision that can rival if not i'll play the less constant appeal to the corruption of social justice. an appeal that is important in western europe, but has made considerable inroads of american public opinion. because there are such things as economic incentives. we think of them primarily in terms of financial one. but incentives can also be nonfinancial. the desire to do good and to be seen as a good person can incentivize some people to act one way rather than another, even if objectively speaking that it is the wrong moral choice. so what does this mean? well, it is seen as being associated with, for example, large welfare state.
some people do this with large welfare programs, despite how it may not be in their best interest. likewise, in the past with social ostracism, it lies in saying that people should be helped to take care of themselves. it is to be a prominent advocate of limiting government power, which is much lower. if what i say is true, it should shape the way in which we seek to maybe reverse european organizations in america. suddenly changing policies, changing the rules of the game is important if we are going to alter this. most institutions and belief systems must change for successful reform. it is the mental model of the actions that will shape your
attitudes. attitudes and values and expectations, if they are favorable enough to growth and economic creation, they are even in some respects overcome institutional strengths. so if it does indeed come back to values and beliefs and attitudes and expectations, then we need to do more than just economic incentives. the moral case for a free economy is far beyond the logic of supply and demand. in my books following chapter, in his court economic culture is what i think they are. americans need to be very clear about the choices that they must make if they want to avoid
economic europeanization. they have to prioritize wealth creation over distribution. they must prioritize transparency and accountability. they have to prioritize the rule of law over the rule of man. things like property rights, direction of the economy, hope, and give priority to openness rather than defensiveness. wealth creation, accountability, rule of law. also hope. i tried to explain what these mean and how they affect institutions and policies. these are prominent features of the america that was visited in the 1830s.
perhaps the most discerning biographer notes that one of the first surprises was that one would rub shoulders with those who have spent the day in an office or a bank. lawyers, businessmen, bakers. he came at the end of the day in which they had waged a battle for profit. now, such a state of affairs shocks. why is that? because it was traditionally dominated by men who held government. many are aspiring entrepreneurs who are absent from these gatherings. now, that tells us something about the disdain in much which of 1830s europe regarded
commerce but it also reveals something about america. it was not as materialistic as many americans suppose -- excuse me, in which many europeans today continue to issue. it was not all-consuming despite the fact that the commercial republic was very much back, a commercial republic. achieving economic success and the material resources have less material goods. things like knowledge and education philanthropy and cultivation of the arts and the appreciation of beauty in contemplation of the ultimate reality. this is a vision that is somewhat at odds with the imagery that we often associate
with 19th century america. nonetheless, it is very consistent with the aspirations of many of america's founders. i think the richest and most economically successful founder of them all exemplifies this. many of you probably know that charles inherited great work. but in his own right come he multiplied thing several times over. he was forever identified and taking most things like what might be suitable for particular areas. he invested heavily in private economic projects designed to promote public works. yes, none of these interests in the energy they consume
cultivate another scholarly interest. nor did they have it any long-term involvement in public affairs. whether representative or a political commentator or a bastion of america's constitutional framework and in regards to liberty. but charles carroll put far more at risk economically speaking than any others. he was the richest man in america at the time. but his willingness to reach all this stuff for freedom, demonstrated that a lot is at stake. some things are more important. i think i'll point to something.
it is the need for conservatives and free markets to embrace the argument that the endgame of the free enterprise system is not the end of acquisition. the goal is human flourishing. this is an ideal that is as old as our country. it is integral to the american founding including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. part of the happiness is to be found in pursuit of some of the very wide ranging and often uneconomic interests for someone like thomas jefferson jefferson and charles kelly. but it could enable us to engage
in those interests. they are so crucial for success in business and trade. in much of western europe, a contrary attitude has long been characteristic of economic culture. it is consistent with maintaining encouragement with wealth creation and the attitude is that people need to be provided and protected. institutionally, that translates into the european social world. what's interesting is that there is very little evidence that such policies help make people happy. many people who are on long-term welfare are generally less happy
than those who are in the same income but who do not do it through a welfare payment and instead do it through work and a job. we have to be careful not to read too much into these studies. correlation is not causality. it is suggested that economic cultures that prioritize institutions and are focused upon endless redistribution directed from the top down to realize ever greater quality and stability are much less successful at helping people to flourish as they ought to flourish. benjamin franklin wrote that he never made a man happy and never would. but had one achieved that, how
one gains in income, it certainly does seem to matter when we think about something as profoundly as un- materialistic as human flourishing. economic cultures that are more or less enthralled with progressive equalization do have rather materialistic views of the human purpose. the american founders associated the word liberty with the phrase pursuit of happiness. it is in the exercise of freedom, including economic freedom where much of the happiness making occurs. the downside and might be less economic security. some is important, but it is not all important and certainly not
enough for human happiness and portion. this underscores the truth that if americans want to resist europeanization, they have to do more than just engage in policy battle. i think taking back america's economy from those who have a social democratic nightmare, i would argue over the past 100 years, has to be more than an argument about the efficiency and mixed economies. we do not move by a efficiency alone. it is more than maximizing this. no one is going to go to the barricades with efficiency. so america has to consciously choose not to cut off the economic culture from the roots of this.
as i demonstrated above, the roots are certainly european. these roots have been deepened over 230 years. so much so that not even politicians as savvy as franklin roosevelt or lyndon johnson were able to pull them out completely. there is no guarantee that these will persist in america. once you tear them up up from their the roots, they tend to die very quickly. many economic cultures, let along the institutions that protect them is extremely difficult and history has a great deal with doing so. americans can cultivate what they have been given as a sacred trust. the heritage of which is
grounded deeply in what we should call european civilization. if americans choose to do so, and i think choose a month, americans can have confidence that whatever happens to europe, if we make the right decisions at the level of attitudes and beliefs and expectations, whatever happens to europe, something will just not have been saved, it will also have been transformed. i thank you very much. [applause] >> we are glad to take a few questions. we will be signing copies of the book up here if you'd like to talk further. we have a microphone. i will recognize people in the audience. your quote from jefferson when you discussed the perpetual debt to three sentences prior to
that, he says i am not one who fears the people. ironically, are you telling us that we could be in a time of fearing the people? >> it might be the time to fear some people. jefferson had tremendous faith in the americans of his time, that they would do the right thing. winston churchill said that america will always do the right thing after they tried everything else. but i do think that giving some of the ships that i talk about at length in the book, about how americans view free markets, some are not as favorable as they used to be. it is disturbing when it comes to young people just how much they prepare social democratic ideas and models of institutions compared to what america's heritage is. that is actually very disturbing. it tells me that those that are
in favor of free markets and free enterprise are not doing a good job of explaining to young people who are generally optimistic, who want to be inspired and have an idea to follow, that there are economic earpiece untrained ear panisse and models and i will be a problem for the united states in the sense that democracy will change what people want. if most people want social on social democracy, that is what we will get. social democracy. >> over here? >> thank you. thank you for your perceptive views. you mentioned the german influence in the 19th century, as well as human flourishing.
do you think there is an educational program out there? and would you point to other positive economics and educational enforcement? >> sure. let me say something about the negative side of that. the negative side is -- i think it was max stein who said that three weeks before an election, there is no substitute for eight to 10 years of indoctrination and most educational systems about why business is dead, why free markets are dehumanizing and etc. you're not going to dissuade a lot of people after hearing this type of stuff year after year. when they pick up the newspaper, they see the same message. even among their peers, these messages are being reinforced
over again. so winning that cultural divide is a long-term prospect and a much better one. with that being said, there are many programs for those who are persuaded of the merits of free enterprise. there are lots of programs out there. i think is it is important to talk about where these things come from. this is our heritage and this is why it is important. and these people were making economic arguments and they are flourishing. there are people and places at princeton, for instance, that do these things. the james madison program, i
think it does a very good job of making these ideas real and applying them to different segments of social life and economic policies and etc. as you probably know, there are places in washington dc that have spent a lot of time doing this. there are places to go, there are lots of programs for students who are interested in such things. of course, there are plenty of opportunities for these things and thanks to places like heritage, many of the things are more available to people. helping people when they go out, either to do business or to work in politics and policy, how they apply these things to these
institutional problems that i talked about. >> anyone else? >> okay. >> i am curious about one thing. germany was the origin of social welfare. if they but they have managed to have a strong economy. you have any idea as to how they manage to do that? others have fallen behind in europe. >> i talk about that in the book. germany is the outlier. yes, the welfare state as we know it originated with a great lover of freedom. he served the welfare state because he noticed that urban industrial workers who are voting for this social democratic party, he thought well, how do we deal with this? well, we can take care of it. it was not exactly a noble idea. it was about this growing support of large numbers of
people who were at that time marxist political party. but it has been a very long string of more market oriented thinking. perhaps the biggest changes that were made occurred in 1948 when people were in charge of the economy and the allied occupational zone. many people were passionate. it was simply imposed and he got rid of currency control and price control and he let the market system work. and i had to do with considerable economic prosperity. but then it was clear that germany had moved in a social
democratic convention. by the 1990s, this was making headlines. in the early 2000, the german government was a social democrat government and decided that things couldn't keep going this way. so it became an eight-year program on this. and it has paid off. we went to prove the point that if you want to embark upon serious economic reform in most countries, you should expect that you will be thrown out of office. the part about this is they have a certain tradition of oriented thinking that they can fall back to that many other european countries struggle to do so. it is within living memory of some germans.
the reason why germans in general don't like inflation and why they are very nervous about inflation compared to some other countries, is because they saw what happened and the political consequences of that. so i think it helps to explain why germany has managed to resist some of these other things. it is a culture and history that enable germans to say, this is part of our tradition. this is part of who we are as germans. it is part of our economic culture and how really is. >> tomorrow here, please. >> it is nice to be here.
talking about communicating, very nice wake-up call for everybody. as far as unemployment goes, isn't it critical? those are unemployed right now can create things that will be left for better generations. like how high is the risk and the crisis from 2008, it leaves us with something that persists for a long time in the landscape that is longer than we might want. >> yes, 7.9% as the official unemployment rate at the moment. many americans have stopped looking for work.
this security that follows from widespread unemployment shows me that politicians react in certain ways to provide security to the state. once you set up a program, there tends to be difficulty to dismantle it because as public tells us, they develop their own interests and agendas, which often have nothing to do with the people. what we know is that some of these institutions and programs, once in place, it becomes harder not to just dismantle them, but even question them. a good example is the national health service in britain. i can tell you that the national
health system is terrible. any objective standard of quality of health care, speed of delivery, it is terrible. yes, the service is bad, etc. but there are lots of surveys on this. if you ask british people about freeing of health care, moving towards the liberalization and having market forces work, we simply cannot do that. i remember one nice lady, idealistic young girl who said the national health services is part of the jewel of one of these businesses. but it's bankrupt. but we care enough that we are
willing to help people. but you are not always helping people. so that is how a program or institution becomes so embedded in economic culture that weeding it out is almost impossible. we just need to tinker with it and try to taper it. it is actually damaging people and we need to get rid of it. and that is a very quick way of electoral rejection. my point is that once this is in place, it can stay for a long time. no matter how dysfunctional they are. >> okay, there will be one more after that. >> okay, the fertility rates are all weaker in europe now than they were before.
they seem to be stronger than they are still weaker than they were. what impacts of those things have? that there could be some correlations. >> yes, i talk about those issues i do get into the marriage issue. in every single european country except for ireland, the mediterranean countries are a disaster. the replacement rate is 2.1. the only country is ireland at 2.1. france is close, britain is not too far away. why is that?
well, it obviously has to do with things like mortality rates, people are living longer. it has to do when babies are born and those people are choosing not to have more children. obviously contraception is something and we have all contributed to what is going on. the welfare state is that once upon a time, and i don't want to sound like a materialist here. once this comes in, it takes away intergenerational bonds they get replaced by the states that people would often have an economic motive for having more children, because it means that there could be some children around would be able to take care of them in their old age.
it is called the old-age motor. he breaks those links. what they do is create a huge thing. the reasoning would be well, i don't want to have children because i will be taken care of by the welfare state. so this creates incentives. that is a very materialistic explanation and the issue is much more complicated. but it's a real factor. does it have an effect? yes. i think california is a classic example. they are europe in every measurable way. in terms of attitudes and
beliefs and expectations, they have made their choice, and it is not a coincidence. it is also people just having fewer and fewer children. so a good example is institutions that used to take care of some of these long-term social and economic challenges that actually produce a far worse result of those who are trying to help. >> a final question? >> thank you. i was wondering if you could elaborate on what the facts would be? >> i talk about this at length in the book. we can say there are economic cost to social democracy.
less productivity, increased regulation, and etc. what are some of the moral costs? one is a decrease in people's sense of responsibility for themselves and their families. that is one manifestation. and then there is a cost of expectations that i'm entitled to certain things without any real explanation of where these rights come from even the language of moral discourse becomes corroded and breaks down to the point where things become a discussion. it is a type of personality that works its way through discourse. we expect other people that we
do not know and we have no idea what their obligations and responsibilities our common to basically pay for you and whatever it is. so the thought that i should be responsible for myself and family starts to break down in these types of conditions. i also think that it leads to people's human flourishing in the sense that i am seen as something that i just have to do. to give you an example, in 2004, studies were done of french university students who had gone to places like the sorbonne or other places that were very important in training bureaucratic leaders of the future.
now people who are graduating, they are asked what they wanted to do with their lives. 70% says they want to be a civil servant. and why is that? well, they got paid pretty well. they didn't have to work too hard. we got general pensions. and the cost is like a willingness to take risks. and life is many times about taking risks. you are going to flourish as a person. you'll basically be stagnant. that presumes a certain understanding of the human person, the nature of this, but i don't think there is much doubt that social democracy has